Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department's progress in 2011, emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to secure the nation's borders and engage in smart enforcement of our immigration laws.
- In FY 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 396,906 individuals – the largest number in the agency’s history. Of these, 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors – an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ICE achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Over ninety percent of all ICE’s removals fell into a priority category in 2011 including Criminal Aliens (55%), Repeat Immigration Law Violators (20%), Recent Border Entrants (12%) and Immigration Fugitives (5%).
- The continued growth of programs such as Secure Communities—which has helped ICE identify and remove tens of thousands of criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails - allows ICE to focus its resources on priority cases. DHS has expanded Secure Communities from 14 jurisdictions in 2008 to more than 1,700 today—including all jurisdictions along the Southwest border.
- ICE arrested more than 2,900 convicted criminal aliens and fugitives during Operation Cross Check. This seven-day enforcement operation, the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents, as well as coordination with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout the U.S. Arrests occurred in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.
- Today, 85% of detainees are housed in roughly 60 detention facilities. Instead of housing the vast majority of immigrant detainees in small groups in jails across the country, ICE initiated a consolidation effort which included the addition of larger, more civil detention facilities to its inventory. This year, ICE opened two such facilities in California and New Jersey and is scheduled to open the first true civil detention facility in Texas in February 2012. The acquisition of these facilities has enabled ICE to reduce the number of transfers and detain individuals closer to their arrest locations, families, legal service providers, and other community support organizations.
- ICE has added more than 40 detention service managers whose sole responsibility is to conduct daily on sight monitoring to ensure detention standards compliance and appropriateness of conditions of confinement.
- As a part of ongoing detention reform efforts, ICE continued to identify systematic ways to reform and improve medical and mental health care at detention facilities, including an increase in medical case management and quality management activities, assigning field medical coordinators to each ICE Field Office to provide ongoing case management; simplifying the process for detainees to receive authorized health care treatments; and developing a medical classification system to support detainees with unique medical or mental health needs.
- ICE has hired additional detention service managers to increase onsite federal oversight and ensure that facilities are in compliance with its detention standards while increasing announced and unannounced inspections by other staff. DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), has assisted in training these ICE employees and reviewing the standards they enforce. CRCL has also stepped up oversight of immigration facilities, conducting numerous on-site inspections, and additional reviews specifically relating to medical care.
- In FY 2011, ICE conducted 2,496 I-9 audits; initiated 3,291 worksite enforcement cases; arrested 221 employers; issued 385 Final Orders for more than $10 million in fines; and debarred 115 individuals and 97 businesses, more than the total in the previous Administration.